Just yesterday, I called one of my best friends all the way across the country, to say I was thinking of her. I called because she was about to have surgery.
I probably didn't do what you should do, when someone close to you suffers a health scare. I broke down in the middle of my message to her, getting choked up as I told her I was praying for her, and saying that she was like family to me.
However, I may have done what was right after all, by being genuinely sincere and authentic. As my voice struggled to stay composed, I knew in my heart that my phone call was important.
Just today, I helped facilitate the presentation of a check by a banking client to a local cancer center. One of the survivors helped by the donation was accompanied by a support partner who would go with her to treatments, doctor appointments, etc. It had me thinking that being that support to someone, in whatever way possible, is important.
Perhaps you are really good at finances, so lending a hand to a friend with the monthly budgeting can really help, as diagnostic tests can get expensive.
Maybe your friend is not feeling well and is overwhelmed with handling the day-to-day household chores, children’s activities, and other energy drains. Maybe you can help clean her home, cook some meals for her family, or take her kids to soccer. If you are an educator, you could take over helping her kids with homework.
Having worked in the cancer community as a fitness instructor, I know that one of the best things you can do is listen and provide a compassionate ear to those awaiting news on a health condition or prognosis or status of remission.
Helping to find answers in a positive way through recognized practitioners can be another way to make a difference.
You could help her find a support group, or even better, go with her to a support group. There are often healthy cooking classes which center around disease prevention as well as exercise programs. Better yet, you could treat her to a therapeutic massage with a therapist who is familiar with her condition.
If you are financially able and your friend lives far from loved ones, ask her if you can arrange travel expenses for a family member to visit her.
Finally, help her experience the little things and capture the beauty in every moment. Go with her on a nature walk, bring her fresh flowers, or help her plant a healing garden.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and children, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/
Edited by Jody Smith